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Tate Britain

15:37 Mon 24th May 2010 |

The Tate Britain is an art gallery situated on Millbank in London, and is part of the Tate gallery network in Britain, with Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives. It is the oldest gallery in the network, opening in 1897. It houses a substantial collection of the works of J.M.W. Turner.

It is housed in the Tate's original premises on Millbank on the site of Millbank Prison. Construction commenced in 1893. The gallery opened on 21 July 1897 as the National Gallery of British Art, but became commonly known as the Tate Gallery, after its founder Sir Henry Tate. There have been several extensions over the years.

Crises during its existence include flood damage to work from the River Thames and bomb damage during World War II, though most of the collection was in safe storage elsewhere, and a large Stanley Spencer painting, deemed too big to move, had a protective brick wall built in front of it.

The gallery housed and displayed both British and Modern collections, but was renamed "Tate Britain" in March 2000, before the launch of Tate Modern, since which time it has been dedicated to the display of historical and contemporary British art only.


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Admission to the museum is free except to special exhibitions. However, Tate members can visit special exhibitions for free.

The Tate Britain is open every day, 10.00–18.00. Special exhibitions are open until 17.40 (last admission 17.00). The gallery is open as normal on Bank Holidays except for being closed 24, 25, 26 December (open as normal on 1 January).

The Tate Britain is open late until 22.00 on the first Friday of each month. Special exhibitions are open until 21.40 (last admission 21.00), it is advisable to check before hand the date of late opening on the website or by phone.

Contact details for the Tate Britain tel: +44 (0)20 7887 8888 (Monday – Friday, 09.00–18.00), email: visiting.britain@tate.org.uk

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